July 19, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Help Wanted: Communications & Research Assistant
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

The North American Megadams Resistance Alliance is hiring a Communications & Research Assistant, based at Sierra Club Maine, to work on a campaign opposing Canadian hydropower dams and transmission corridors planned for the U.S.
Support Island Stewardship
Announcement - Thursday, July 18, 2019 

Maine Island Trail Association volunteers will make 1,400 boat landings on Trail sites this summer to provide care for these special places and assure they can remain open to explorers. Support the Float Their Boats campaign to strengthen MITA's 30-year tradition of volunteer stewardship of the Trail.
Fur, Feathers & Feet, Jul 24
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

An introduction to birds and mammals. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, July 24, 10 am. Presented by Chewonki Foundation.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival, Jul 24-26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 

The festival celebrates the Wabanaki Native American people and naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau’s three journeys into the Maine Woods. At Center for Moosehead History, Greenville, July 24-26.
‘Acadia Files’ author Coppens, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 16, 2019 

Author Katie Coppens will conduct fun science experiments with kids of all ages. At Turner Public Library, July 23, 2 pm. Each volume of “The Acadia Files” helps young readers learn about the scientific method in fun and innovative ways by following the adventures of Acadia, a young scientist.
Help Stamp Money Out of Politics
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

The flow of cash into the pockets of politicians from lobbyists, oil and gas companies, and billionaires bent on protecting their wealth is the biggest barrier to our government's taking action on climate change, and it is up to us to put a stop to it. That is why we're asking you to join the movement protesting Big Money's death grip on our future by rubber-stamping our cash with the message "Stamp Money Out of Politics." ~ Ben & Jerry
Tell Your Representative: Invest in Clean Energy and Climate Action
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Congress must update and extend vital tax credits in four key green technology areas needed to meet our climate goals — electric vehicles, offshore wind, electric grid scale storage, and building efficiency. Without these updated credits, clean energy innovation could stall and our planet will be driven even closer to the brink of climate catastrophe. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund
Hearing on CMP billing errors, service shortcomings, rate hikes, Jul 22
Action Alert - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Maine Public Utilities Commission public witness hearing concerning Central Maine Power’s request to increase residential rates by over 10%, and CMP billing errors and poor customer service. At PUC, Hallowell, July 22, 6 pm.
Greenhorns summer workshops
Event - Posted - Monday, July 15, 2019 

Hear from historians, restoration ecologists, entomologists, fishermen, foresters and master craftsmen, on a wide range of topics at the intersection of the human and non-human world. Greenhorns, in Pembroke, works to create a welcoming culture for new entrants in sustainable agriculture.
Crystal Spring Farm Bee Tour, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Beekeeper Ken Faulkner will explain the importance of honeybees, hive dynamics, beekeeping, honeybee history, and more. At Crystal Spring Farmers’ Market parking area, Brunswick, July 21, 10 am, free. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Kayak to Woodward Point, Jul 21
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 14, 2019 

Check out newly protected Woodward Point on the New Meadows River in Brunswick from the water. July 21, 2 pm, pre-register. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
Climate Convergence Conference, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Explore the roots of science denial and change the nature of the public discourse regarding Climate Change. At George Stevens Academy, Blue Hill, July 20.
Loon counters needed, Jul 20
Announcement - Saturday, July 13, 2019 

Each year more than a thousand volunteer counters fan out across Maine’s lakes to help track the status of the state’s loon population. Volunteer counters are needed on a number of Hancock County lakes and ponds, July 20, 7-7:30 am.
Traveling the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Friday, July 12, 2019 

Nicole Grohoski, GIS Specialist, Cartographer, and State Representative for District 132 will share adventures from completing the Northern Forest Canoe Trail. At Gordon’s Wharf, Sullivan, July 19, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
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News Items
Maine Climate Council Would Lead State’s 100% Renewable Energy Efforts
Other - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

North American Windpower - Gov. Janet Mills, D-Maine, has introduced bipartisan legislation to create the Maine Climate Council, which would develop an action plan and timetable for meeting the state’s clean energy goals. The introduction of the legislation has also drawn praise from the Maine Conservation Voters, the Maine Renewable Energy Association, the Nature Conservancy in Maine, the Island Institute, the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, and the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Blue Hill Heritage Trust acquires block of forestland
Ellsworth American - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Blue Hill Heritage Trust celebrated the purchase of another large block of forestland with its acquisition of Meadowbrook Forest on April 26. The 2,031-acre property straddles the line between Surry and Ellsworth. It offers more than nine miles of woods road, providing ideal recreational access for bikers and walkers. The trust will manage Meadowbrook Forest as a demonstration forest, providing educational opportunities for local landowners interested in forest management practices, as well as public access for hunting and other traditional uses.
Gov. Mills signs law banning foam food and drink containers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill into law Tuesday that made Maine one of the first states to ban single-use food and drink containers made from polystyrene. The law prohibits restaurants, coffee shops, food trucks, grocery stores and other “covered establishments” from using containers made of polystyrene – known by the trade name Styrofoam – as of Jan. 1, 2021. Hospitals, seafood shippers and stores that sell pre-packaged meat are exempt from the ban. Plastic foam food containers are among the top 10 most commonly littered items in the U.S. More than 256 million pieces of disposable foam cups, plates, bowls, platters and trays are used every year in Maine, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
EPA reaffirms glyphosate safe for users
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

The Environmental Protection Agency reaffirmed Tuesday that a popular weed killer is safe for people, as legal claims mount from Americans who blame the herbicide for their cancer. The EPA’s draft conclusion Tuesday came in a periodic review of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup. The agency found that it posed “no risks of concern” for people exposed to it by any means – on farms, in yards and along roadsides, or as residue left on food crops. Two recent U.S. court verdicts have awarded multimillion-dollar claims to men who blame glyphosate for their lymphoma. Bayer, which acquired Roundup-maker Monsanto last year, faces U.S. lawsuits from 13,400 people over alleged exposure to the weed killer.
Tick alert: May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month
Sun Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Welcome to the start of tick season. May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month in the United States, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a reminder that everyone be “tick aware and tick alert,” especially as the days get warmer.
Opponents of drinking water disinfectant bring Erin Brockovich expert to Maine
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

The Kittery Water District has announced it will once again postpone the implementation of monochloramines as a drinking water disinfectant to allow for all parties involved to conduct further research. Meanwhile, Kittery Citizens Concerned About Chloramines believes “it’s time for a second opinion” on the conversation around the chlorine/ammonia combination disinfectant. The informal citizens’ advocacy group, which formed after the recent announcement that monochloromines would soon be added to their drinking water, will host Erin Brockovich’s water expert, Bob Bowcock, for a question and answer session in Eliot May 20.
Gov. Mills proposes climate council to pursue emissions, energy goals
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills unveiled her proposal Tuesday for a Maine Climate Change Council that would recommend ways to meet ambitious goals on lowering the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and increasing renewable energy generation. Mills made the proposal in a bill that will be considered by the Legislature alongside a mix of other climate-related bills. The Mills administration bill would also set official goals of obtaining 80 percent of electricity consumed in Maine from renewable sources by 2030 and from 100 percent renewable sources by 2050.
Janet Mills' Proposal Would Create 27-Member Climate Change Council
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Maine Gov. Janet Mills presented a bill on Tuesday to create a 27-member climate change council charged with dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning Maine to what she describes as a “low-carbon economy.” But the panel will not evaluate the purported carbon reduction benefits of a controversial transmission line project that Mills supports.
90 acres conserved near Mt. Agamenticus
Seacoast Online - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

York Land Trust has purchased 90 acres of forested land on Josiah Norton Road that had been slated for a 14-lot subdivision. The property is located within a 5,500-acre block of undeveloped forest in the Mt. Agamenticus region. The area has long been a priority of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative’s (MtA2C) efforts to protect 19,000 acres of unfragmented land in the region. Keeping this block of land intact helps preserve habitats of numerous sensitive species, including Blanding’s and Spotted turtles.
Hike: Seaward Mills Stream Conservation Area
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

The 44-acre Seaward Mills Stream Conservation Area was donated to the Kennebec Land Trust by Elizabeth Cole, a longtime Vassalboro resident, in June 2011. The land features a mixed deciduous forest, a stand of mature hemlocks, 3,800 feet of frontage on the historic Seawards Mills Stream and 15 acres of agricultural fields, which are leased to a local farmer. A 0.7-mile trail explores the forested part of the property and travels close to the banks of the stream much of the way.
Good News from Greenville and Moosehead Lake
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Destination Moosehead Lake was awarded a grant for $15,000 to be used for public relations and marketing efforts for the Moosehead Lake region, including via a website, Facebook, Instagram, and a foldable informational and regional attractions map.
Maine nonprofits to receive $2.8M in AmeriCorps funding
Mainebiz - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Maine will receive $2.8 million in federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grants will support 249 AmeriCorps members serving five organizations, including Maine Conservation Corps ($660,224) and USM’s Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship ($177,893).
Lisbon to build community park on Graziano Square
Times Record - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Six years after a landmark restaurant was demolished along Route 196, Lisbon plans to turn Graziano Square into a park, transforming the gateway to town. Lisbon’s comprehensive plan focuses on what’s now known as Graziano Square as one of the areas the town needs to focus on to make Lisbon more attractive. The town council agreed to spend up to $75,000 on the new recreation area.
Kennebec River Rail Trail mile marker toppled, broken in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Officials are looking for answers after a 20-year-old granite mile marker toppled and broke over the weekend on the Kennebec River Rail Trail. Area residents think the marker, which is close to the trail’s entrance by the Kennebec Valley YMCA, was damaged by vandals, but area police have received no recent reports of vandalism or suspicious activity on the trail.
Opinion: Recognizing the stakes, young people leading the fight for climate justice
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

I am a climate activist at 12 years old. In my eyes, climate justice pertains to the children. Those affected the most are often the ones who practice the most sustainable lifestyles. They are the ones who end up with nothing, while others languish in their soaring New York penthouses. My message for today is to think about these words I have written.Progress is already here. The lighthouse is brighter than it has ever been, and the children are its keepers. Change is coming – the right kind. ~ Anna Siegel, Yarmouth, seventh-grade student at the Friends School of Portland
Opinion: Limits on rockweed harvest will help protect Maine’s coast
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

It was a great privilege to grow up on the Maine coast. Now many creatures are scarce or gone. Seems we overdid the harvesting and polluting. Invasive green crabs are eating the clams, and increasing acidification threatens all shellfish. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than almost any other ocean body, with unpleasant results. Sea-level rise is eroding shorelines. About 20 years ago, companies started mass-cutting the rockweed and marketing it, mostly for fertilizer. The harvest escalated from a very low level to over 20 million pounds in 2018. Before permitting mass rockweed removal, we need to know much more: What impact does it have on the fisheries? On birds and such factors as erosion? And tourism? ~ Kenneth Ross, Robinson
Letter: Maine should lead in phasing toxins out of food packaging
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

As a species, we seem to be spectacularly resistant to the cautionary lessons of history. Humans began using lead several thousand years ago. But we are still trying to address the use of lead in close proximity to children today. Today, as in the past, you will hear the exact same resistance to change heard decades ago – the need for “more research,” that action will hurt business and that the federal government will take care of it. It would be laughable if it were not so sad. The alarm bells are now ringing about PFAS chemicals and phthalates, which L.D. 1433 would phase out of food packaging in Maine. Why not move forward if we can show that safer substitutions are available? ~ Lani Graham, M.D., former director, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Portland
Letter: Mills should reject CMP corridor plan
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

I voted for Gov. Janet Mills with a confidence that she carries the heart of Maine in all her decisions. I am grateful for her stand on climate change, but I disagree with her decision to support Central Maine Power’s New England Clean Energy Connect project in western Maine, a project that our neighboring states of New Hampshire and Vermont wisely and bravely rejected, and which will surely deliver environmental damage — the very damage she seeks to avoid through her efforts to save Maine from climate change. This decision most surely is inconsistent with her goal for the future of Maine. I encourage Gov. Mills to rethink the CMP project. ~ Elizabeth M. Cooke, Rangeley and Hallowell
Generac buys Westbrook energy products company
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 29, 2019 

A Wisconsin company that manufactures generators, Generac Holdings, has purchased Pika Energy, a Westbrook-based maker of energy products. Pika makes products designed to operate integrated energy systems for individual buildings. For instance, Pika makes controls for buildings equipped with solar panels, to help steer the energy produced to building needs, battery storage and the electric grid.
Lobster marketing group names new leader
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 29, 2019 

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative has appointed Marianne LaCroix as its new executive director. LaCroix previously served as the group’s head of marketing since its founding in 2013. LaCroix replaces Matt Jacobson who stepped down from the position in February. In her new role, LaCroix will continue to oversee the MLMC’s mission to promote sustainability and traceability within the industry, and drive demand for live and processed products.
How GMOs Might Save the American Chestnut Tree, or Not
Other - Monday, April 29, 2019 

WBUR - To save the American chestnut tree, researchers want to release genetically engineered trees into the wild to reproduce. It would be a first — a possible breakthrough and an irreversible experiment.
Column: The dealers behind the deal
Forecaster - Monday, April 29, 2019 

According to a 2018 news release, Western Mountains & Rivers Corp. is an environmental group focused on “conservation, outdoor recreation and economic development.” Actually, WM&R is more like a wholly owned subsidiary of Central Maine Power Co. That explains why Western Mountains is such an enthusiastic supporter of CMP’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine to bring Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts. WM&R was created in 2017. CMP paid for its incorporation papers. WM&R hired a lawyer to testify before regulatory bodies debating the power line. The electric utility paid for that, too. In all, CMP has given Western Mountains $250,000 and promises to provide an equal amount over the next five years. That ain’t all.
Surry Hill Community Forest campaign
Maine Environmental News - Monday, April 29, 2019 

The proposed Surry Hill Community Forest in Fayette includes over 250 acres of secondary forest growth, a 20-acre open field and two wetlands. Supporters have donated $152,000 toward the campaign. To complete the conservation project by the end of October, the Kennebec Land Trust needs to raise an additional $150,000.
As some fisheries crashed, lobster and aquaculture filled the gap
Mainebiz - Monday, April 29, 2019 

Maine’s wild fisheries have experienced numerous challenges over the past 25 years. A booming lobster resource has helped keep fishermen employed. And emerging aquaculture sectors are viewed as having great potential for diversifying the economy. As the shrimp fishery and groundfish like cod and haddock have faded as a part of Maine’s fishery, the past few decades have seen the expansion of oyster and Atlantic salmon farming. Lobster fishing has remained a constant and Maine lobster is the product most identified with the state. Yet there’s been an ongoing effort to maintain diversity in the fisheries.
Time to chase the fish stocking truck
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, April 29, 2019 

Lots of anglers chase DIF&W’s fish stocking trucks, eager to get those fish as soon as they are dumped in the water. I do hope if you are chasing our stocked fish, you will release some to catch another day. DIF&W recently offered the following information about their stocking schedule this spring. You can access the information at https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1121133288326881286
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